24HP Darracq

1903 Darracq 24HP Model JJ Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 2, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

There seems to be a Darracq at Bonhams’ London-to-Brighton sale every year. And we never get to feature it. Not this year!. This 24HP Darracq was restored in the 1990s and is still winning awards. It successfully completed the 1903 Paris-Madrid race with its first owner, even though the race was halted due to fatalities.

Power is from a 4.7-liter straight-four good for 24 horsepower. Top speed is about 50 mph and this car is actually a little smaller than it looks. Most rear-entrance tonneaus are quite large, but just look at how compact the wheelbase looks for an estimate of this car’s size.

This is a high-quality car, as all big Darracqs of this vintage are. It is one of two in existence and should bring between $730,000-$860,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $779,115.

Schaudel Tonneau

1901 Schaudel 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Charles Schaudel’s little French car company lasted a very brief time. He built his first car in 1900 and by 1902 he had sold out to his brother-in-law, who changed the name of the company to Motobloc (which lasted until 1931).

The engine is a 10 horsepower two-cylinder unit that is mounted transversely (and, with its gearbox configuration, it is noted in the catalog that this car sports the same drivetrain layout as the original Mini). The engine was rebuilt in 2016 after taking part in 12 London-to-Brighton runs, which means it is fresh and ready to go this year.

Only two Schaudel-branded automobiles are known to exist and this one has appeared on British television on multiple occasions. This is a pretty awesome find from a really obscure company. There’s really no reason something made in such limited numbers should still exist, but we’re sure glad it does. This one should bring between $170,000-$210,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $192,834.

Update: Sold, Bonhams London-to-Brighton 2018, $156,891.

Premier Tonneau

1904 Premier Model F 16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

George B. Weidely sold his first car in 1902 and his Premier Motor Manufacturing Company continued to build four, and primarily six, cylinder cars through 1925. Based in Indianapolis, the brand was at the heart of one of America’s major early automobile manufacturing cities.

The 1904 Premier range was the first year they offered multiple models. This, the Model F, was the mid-range model and the top trim four-cylinder car the firm sold, priced at $1,400 when new. It’s powered by a 16 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The only body style offered was the Rear-Entrance Tonneau you see here.

This particular example was restored in 1999 and is finished in Brewster Green and Canary (yellow). Only two 1904 Premiers have survived, the other being the more-expensive-when-new Two-Cylinder model that is in possession of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Even though this is an American automobile, it is London-to-Brighton eligible and should sell for between $175,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $341,000.

Big Mercedes-Simplex

1904 Mercedes-Simplex 28/32 Five-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Monterey, California | August 19, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Mercedes-Simplex was one of the premier cars of the pre-1910 era. They were big, powerful, and fast. The Simplex was produced by Daimler between 1902 and 1909 and was the successor to the Mercedes 35HP, a car largely considered as the “first modern automobile.”

There were multiple Simplex models, the largest being the 60 HP model. This is the mid-range 28/32HP – meaning it is powered by a 32 horsepower 5.3-liter straight-four. It will do 65 mph+. Imagine being able to keep up on the interstate today in a car from 1904… that has dual chain drive.

When new, a Simplex would have cost roughly $7,500 – an absolute fortune in 1904. This example was sold new in England and later used by the British military during WWI. It was discovered on a farm in the 1970s and has been completely restored (and “refurbished” a couple of times since the restoration was completed). It’s extremely usable and has seen its fair share of use at the London-to-Brighton run.

In total, 1,500 Mercedes-Simplex cars were built and only 20 pre-1905 Mercedes cars still survive. Only six of those are this model. It’s a beautiful machine and should bring between $2,500,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,805,000.

1904 Fouillaron

1904 Fouillaron Type G 6HP Tonneau

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 6, 2015

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

If we close our eyes and are asked to picture certain types of cars, we all will likely picture similar things when told “coupe” or “pickup truck” or “convertible.” But there was a time in the early days of the automobile when there weren’t standard designs when it came to size and shape. As far as convertibles go, Gustave Fouillaron obviously had something different in mind when his Type G Tonneau was built in 1904.

Fouillaron was founded in 1899 and built cars through 1914. This Type G resembles more of a Conestoga wagon than it does any modern convertible. The way the top comes up is downright fascinating. At first glance, I thought it was a commercial vehicle. The Type G with the conventional rear axle was new for 1904. It uses a six horsepower De Dion single-cylinder engine.

This example was discovered in the 1960s. The catalog description does not mention a restoration in this car’s past and instead says it has been “kept in working order.” It has been in the family of the current owner since 1988 and is London-to-Brighton eligible. It will likely sell for between $83,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $120,645.

Laperrelle Tonneau

1901 Laperrelle Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Voitures Légères, F de Laperelle, Mottereau-Brou (E&L) was the name of an otherwise unknown company that existed around the turn of the century in France. No record of it exists anywhere in the known realm of automotive literature. Or even the internet, for that matter. In fact, the lot description spells the name of the car two different ways.

This car is powered by a single-cylinder engine and is all original except for the paint (which was redone in 1960). Literally nothing else is known. The chassis number is 96, which suggests they built a hundred cars, yet no one recorded it anywhere. It’s kind of strange that a brand new, unheard of marque from 115 years ago just pops up out of the blue. Automotive archaeology at its finest.

This car has been owned by the same family since new, which is astounding. It also runs and drives. This is a remarkable car and perfect for someone who wants a challenge and something interesting, historical, and unique. The estimate is $96,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1902 De Dietrich

1902 De Dietrich Type 8 “Paris-Vienna” Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

In Alsace, De Dietrich is more than just a short-lived, early car manufacturer. It’s an old family that owned lots of land and had lots of titles. They entered industry in the 1840s and in 1897 they sold their first automobiles. Strangely, as beautiful and well-engineered as these cars were, the De Dietrich marque would be gone after 1905 as the cars were then sold as Lorraine-Dietrichs.

This particular car has an interesting history – it was discovered during WWII when a German bomb blew apart the barn that this thing had been stored in since 1912. This model is identical to those that De Dietrich entered in the 1902 Paris-Vienna race. It uses a 4.1-liter straight-four that puts out 16 horsepower. It can power this fairly large car up to speeds of 55 mph on level roads.

This car was bought new by a member of the Guinness brewing family. He sold it and it was parked in 1912. In the 1940s, after it was unearthed by the aforementioned German explosive, the car was rescued from outdoor deterioration and a restoration was started in 1946. It has had a few owners since (and spent time in a museum) and a second restoration. This thing is beautiful. I wish I had the $1,300,000-$1,400,000 necessary to acquire it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,700,349.

1905 De Dion-Bouton

1905 De Dion-Bouton Model Z 8hp Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 1, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

De Dion-Bouton was the world’s first great automobile manufacturer. They built an empire starting in 1883. They became a huge supplier of engines and parts – selling far more engines to other manufacturers than they did cars of their own. Even so, by 1900 they were the world’s largest auto manufacturer.

Their brightest spot were these pre-1910 cars… really anything 1905 and prior is where they were at their best, even though passenger car production lasted until 1932. The Model Z was new for 1905 (introduced at the tail end of 1904). Not much is known about this rare model but it does have an eight horsepower single-cylinder engine and very big body.

The history on this example is known back to about the 1950s in the U.K. The body is likely not original, having been replaced at least once since 1905 (it was known as a two-seater shortly after WWII). It came to the U.S. in the 1990s and was restored near the end of that decade, winning an award at Pebble Beach in 2001. It’s a pretty awesome car and should bring between $100,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Greenwich lineup.

Update: Sold $93,500.

Ford Model AC

1904 Ford Model AC Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Cape May, New Jersey | May 10, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The 1903 Ford Model A was the first automobile produced by the Ford Motor Company. They built between 1,500 and 1,700 of those flat-twin-powered cars in only two years. The updated Model C followed in 1904 and lasted through 1905.

Then what is a Model AC? It was a 1904 model year-only car that was essentially a Model A with the larger, more powerful engine from the forthcoming Model C. Call it a hot rod with its 2.0-liter flat-twin making 10 horsepower (up from eight in the Model A).

It is thought that this car was restored in the 1950s and has been preserved since. With about 1,700 Model A/Model AC cars built, Bonhams states that only about 30-60 of them remain (but it is unclear if they are referring to Model As or Model ACs or both). At any rate, it is safe to assume that this is much rarer than a normal Model A. It’s in nice but not perfect shape and should sell for between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $88,000.

1903 Clement

1903 Clement 12/16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2013

1903 Clement 12-16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Here is yet another vehicle (from yet another marque) that can be traced back to Adolphe Clement-Bayard. If you’re keeping score at home, please let me know how many this makes, because I’ve lost count. That mustachioed Frenchman sure had a knack for starting car companies.

Clement began producing cars in 1899. Between then and 1903, they were sold under the Clement and Clement-Gladiator names. In 1903, they became known as Clement-Bayard. Clement-Talbot and that whole story is separate from these companies (although very closely related).

Anyway, this car was sold new to a Spaniard named Don Francisco Serramalera Abadal. He was a major automotive importer and salesman who sold mainly French cars to wealthy clients. He would produce cars under his own name in the 1910s. He managed to win a hillclimb in this car in 1904 (so it does have “competition history”). The restoration is about 40 years old and the flimsy-looking wooden top is removable to turn this into a nice roadster.

The engine is a 2.1-liter straight-four making 12/16 horsepower. This Clement is from the final year of Clement production (of the four short years they were available). It is very nice, even though the restoration is older, and should bring a still-big price. The estimate is between $480,000-$640,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ London auction catalog.

Update: Sold $569,937.